Ballina Group win Meitheal Award from Dublin Mayo Association

The Ballina based 'Heroes for Hospice Group' have just been named as the 2016 Meitheal Award Winners by the Mayo Association Dublin. The group were awarded the special recognition because of all the work they had done for the Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation in producing all their sell out shows in Mayo, Dublin and the UK which raised over 40,000 for the charity.

Tony Hennigan from the Mayo Manchester Tourism group commented "We are delighted that the group has won the award, we worked with them during the summer on our 6 day Mayo Manchester Tradfest and helped sponsor their sell out UK premiere and sell out Dublin Show. They are fantastic performers and to raise such an incredible amount of money for the Hospice is a fantastic achievement. We are looking forward to joining them on Saturday 13th February at the Mayo Association Dinner at CityWest Hotel.

The citation for the award from the Dublin Mato Association is printed below:

‘2016 Meitheal Award Winner Citation:
As in previous years, the Meitheal award is bestowed on a nominated community group which, in the opinion of the Judges, best espouses the meaning of “meitheal”, a group formed to work together to achieve something for the benefit of their community.

There is scarcely a family in Ireland that has not been touched by cancer and before the Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation was established 23 years ago there were no specialist care services for terminally ill patients in the region. Over the years the work of the hospice has been extended not just to cancer sufferers but also to pain and symptom control in patients with other conditions such as late stage Motor Neurone, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Heart Failure. Since 1992 the Palliative Care Teams have assisted in the care of over 8,500 patients and their families.

However, the sterling work carried out by the foundation cannot happen without significant voluntary fund raising and this year’s Meitheal award winners took the true meaning of “Meitheal“ to heart in establishing a charity group to raise much needed money for the Mayo Roscommon Hospice. The members of the group are drawn from the Ballina and north Mayo communities and came together to stage, with resounding success a musical with a cast of 90 and many more in the background, ranging in age from 7 to over 70, and led by their wonderful director Lavinia Gilmartin, the entirely amateur members of this group have wowed audiences both here and abroad with their professionalism, talent, energy and enthusiasm and have raised an incredible €40,000 for the hospice through their efforts.

However, as everyone involved knows, the marvelous production would not be so without endless hours of hard work and dedication on the part of not only the cast and director, but also many behind the scenes participants such as those involved in choreography, wardrobe, make-up, music, PR, administration, technical backup, the parents who ferried children to and from rehearsals and the numerous unsung heroes to generously put their hands in their own pockets to cover costs in order to ensure that the maximum amount of funds would be raised for the Mayo-Roscommon Hospice. Talents in many different spheres have been unveiled and the experience of being involved has been a chance for young and old in the communities of Ballina and north Mayo to develop and expand their horizons in previously unexplored ways. Life-long friendships have been forged and it is a wonderful example of the use of the arts - music, song and dance - to bring together ordinary people of all ages and backgrounds in a common purpose in order to achieve something extraordinary.

Accordingly, it is with great pleasure that the judges, from a list of very worthy nominees, have chosen as winners of the 2016 Meitheal award, Heroes for Hospice.

The award will be presented at the Mayo Association Dublin gala banquet on Saturday 13th February 2016 at Citywest Hotel, Saggart, Co. Dublin. Tickets are presently on sale and given that demand is high, are being sold on a first come first served basis. Tickets are €75pp and can be reserved by sending advance payment to the Treasurer of Mayo Association Dublin, Mr. Martin Snee, 3 Priory walk, Whitehall Rd, Terenure, Dublin 12.Alternatively, tickets can be purchased online via the following weblink

All queries on the upcoming event can be sent to either the Treasurer or Secretary of Muintir Mhaigh Eo Atha Cliath: E-mail: or